A writing blank with views of London
By HARRILD, Robert , 1814

Views of London

British Isles London
  • Author: HARRILD, Robert
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published by R. Harrild, 20. Great Eastcheap
  • Publication date: 1814.
  • Physical description: Engraved print with contemporary colour.
  • Dimensions: 480 by 380mm. (19 by 15 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12386


An early nineteenth century writing blank. Writing blanks were single sheets surrounded by themed pictures, with a large space in the middle for children to fill in with a suitable piece of work to practice handwriting. They were used by schools and workhouses, and were very popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, coinciding with the expansion of the children’s book trade.

Robert Harrild (1780-1853) was an English printer and publisher. He was one of the first printers to use and perfect composition rollers, cylinders of ink that could be rolled across type, which sped up the process of printing. He also preserved Benjamin Franklin’s printing press. He produced many writing blanks, and by the late 1820s he specialised in printing for children.


  1. Bodleian Harding B 44(36), 20031204/15.